Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses
specialize in rendering service to patients inflicted with mental illness.
The World Health Organization defined mental disorder as a condition which encompass a broad range of problems, with different symptoms.
However, diseases are generally defined according to combination of symptoms. It includes unusual thinking, behavior, thoughts and even relationship with others.
Markedly, the most common form of mental disorder today is depression. Yet, other ailments include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa which are in like manner important as well.
To emphasize, the mentioned conditions are just a handful, but nonetheless, they are treatable. It is where Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses come into play.
Watch Stephanie Dauphin, a Psychiatric Nurse:
A documentary of Britain’s Mental Health Crisis:
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses carry complex obligations over their shoulders.
To enumerate, their responsibilities include:
- Establish rapport with patients and families.
- Assess patient status.
- Diagnose according to subjective and objective information.
- Evaluate patient needs and strengths.
- Tend to patient’s emotional and psychological needs.
- Provide direct care, or personal care as appropriate.
- Collaborate with the physician and other members of the health team.
- Coordinate with families and significant others.
- Administer medications, as needed.
- Refer to appropriate health personnel or facility, as needed.
REQUIREMENTS: EDUCATION, LICENSE AND CERTIFICATION
In order to practice as a nurse, the most basic requisite is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. In some states, an Associate Degree is as well accepted.
Moreover, the BSN should pass the National Council for Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in their state of jurisdiction.
Nonetheless, the importance of practicing and acquiring hours of qualified experience is vital in acquiring a certification.
Not only RNs should practice for a minimum of 2 years, but also to have at least 2,000 hours of work shifts. In the event that the requisites are followed, the RN can apply a certification for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse (RN-BC) which is applied through American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Moreover, nurses may consider to advance their professional career through undertaking advanced education such as a master’s or doctorate degree, or even specialization courses.
CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY
The website PayScale reported that Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses earn a median annual salary of $59,284 or a rate of $28.86 per hour.
On the other hand, the bottom 10% of earners can go as low as $43,240 while the top 10% for up to $82,698.
Indeed, one’s salary is affected by the company and state of jurisdiction. However, it is most notable that the skills, experience and educational level greatly affects the rate as well.
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an increase in job demand for Registered Nurses, where Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses are included. To be exact, the growth in demand can go as high as 15% from year 2016 to 2026. The rate is relatively much higher than those of other occupations.
Probably, the boost in demand for Registered Nurses may be attributed to the ageing population and fast turn-over of nurses worldwide.
Mental Health Nurses work in hospitals, home health care facilities, psychiatric units, private physicians’ offices and out-patient mental health facilities.
Also, Psychiatric Nurses may also work in schools and prisons in order to provide service for people in need of psychological assessment, support and counselling.
Further, their work shifts also vary and works even on weekends and holidays.